Every seat in the Michigan state house is up for election in 2020, and many seats are open due to term limits. The house has been run by its more conservative wing for the past four years. Continuing this trend will depend on conservatives winning primaries in August. Here are my recommendations for who to support in Republican primaries. Michigan Right to Life is abbreviated RTL. Fundraising totals are available from Open Secrets. Some races are hard evaluate, so additional information from readers is welcome.
3. Tom Norton is the most conservative candidate here, but he seems unable to raise a significant amount of money. He didn’t come close either time he ran for state representative. Lynn Afendoulis is thoroughly establishment friendly. Peter Meijer is a veteran and heir of the retail chain who seems to be somewhat more conservative than Afendoulis. Joe Farrington has an eccentric platform.
5. Former state rep. Tim Kelly had a conservative record in office and is a credible candidate.
8. It will take a good candidate with good fundraising to beat incumbent democrat Elissa Slotkin. Television anchor and Trump USCIS official Paul Junge has a decent resume and has raised by far the most money. None of the other candidates have raised much money. Mike Detmer is endorsed by Pat Colbeck.
10. State rep. Shane Hernandez is the clear choice here. He was a Tea Party leader who has compiled one of the most conservative voting records in the state legislature, according to the American Conservative Union, MIRS, and RightMichigan. He has been endorsed by conservative organizations including Gun Owners of America, Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, Michigan Trump Republicans, and Tea Party Express. He has also been endorsed by many conservative legislators, including Jack Brandenberg, Leon Drolet, Pam Hornberger, and Tom Leonard, plus many more establishment-friendly colleagues. Neither of his opponents have a conservative track record.
11. The field of candidates to take on incumbent democrat Haley Stevens is quite weak. Nurse/lawyer Eric Esshaki and businesswoman Carmelita Greco have raised the most money. Whitney Williams is endorsed by former state rep. Jeff Noble. Former Congressman Kerry Bentivolio had a conservative voting record, but was ineffective in Congress and is a weak candidate.
19. Penny Crider was district director for senator Pat Colbeck. Martha Ptashnik has support from establishment groups.
20. Marine veteran John Lacny has the RTL endorsement.
21. Businesswoman Laurel Hess has the RTL endorsement.
25. Jazmine Early and Adam Wiley both seem to be fairly conservative.
38. Activist Chase Turner almost won a primary against an incumbent in 2018. He is endorsed by RTL and Pat Colbeck.
41. Firefighter Evan Agnello has the RTL endorsement.
47. Livingston GOP chair Meghan Reckling worked for conservative Senator Lana Theis, who endorsed her. Wes Nakagiri and Tom Leonard have also endorsed her.
48. County commissioner David Martin is a credible candidate who has the RTL endorsement.
56. Bedford Township trustee TC Clements seems to be the only credible candidate, as his opponent is 19. He has the RTL endorsement.
58. Prosecutor and realtor Daren Wiseley has a solidly conservative platform.
59. Steve Carra is a legislative staffer for solid conservative state representative Steve Johnson. He has a true commitment to conservative values.
61. Trump campaign aide Bronwyn Haltom has establishment support and a big fundraising lead. IT specialist Tom Graham has the NRA endorsement and a somewhat eclectic platform.
62. Pennfield Township Supervisor Dave Morgan, a former democrat, is running again after narrowly losing in 2018. The other candidates might be fine in a safe district, but Morgan seems the best choice to flip this D-held seat.
70. Postmaster and pastor Martin Ross has the RTL endorsement. Pat Outman, son of state rep and senator Rick Outman, is endorsed by conservative incumbent Jim Lower.
71. Former Eaton County commissioner Christine Barnes is running again. Businesswoman Gina Johnsen has much better fundraising and is fairly conservative.
73. Businessman Robert Regan, who finished second in 2014 and 2018, is the most conservative and has some grassroots support.
79. Pauline Wendzel is an incumbent with a reasonably conservative record.
83. Teacher Tim Keller is a conservative former Tea Party leader. He has been endorsed by the 10th district GOP and conservative leaders including Pat Colbeck, Tom McMillin and Wes Nakagiri.
100. Incumbent Scott VanSingel has a rather disappointing voting record. Oceana County Commissioner Andrew Sebolt is solidly conservative.
101. Incumbent Jack O’Malley faces a primary from Carolyn Cater, who seems to be somewhat more conservative.
104. AFP organizer Heather Cerone seems to be more conservative than Grand Traverse County Republican Party chairman John Roth.
105. Otsego County Commissioner Ken Borton is the most conservative candidate. Tony Cutler is a teacher who finished second in the 2014 primary. Jimmy Schmidt is a former democrat.
107. Documentary producer John Damoose is the most conservative candidate in a large field. He has the sole RTL endorsement.